Autumn weather brings lower temperatures and, in some ares, frequent rain. Knowing how to protect your ready-mix concrete from these conditions can help ensure that your concrete sets properly and lasts a long time.
Avoid Excess Moisture
Extra moisture that mixes with fresh concrete can weaken the concrete after it sets, leading to spalling and cracking. The best way to avoid this problem is to prevent your concrete from being exposed to rain or excess moisture in the soil. Soil saturation that occurs in the time immediately following a heavy rain can make the soil too wet to pour concrete. In many cases, you can tell if the soil is too wet after a rain by driving a vehicle over the area. If the vehicle leaves a water-filled track in the ground, it's too wet to pour concrete. If the soil is too wet, your options are limited: either wait for the ground to dry, or dig out the top layer of saturated soil and replace it with dryer soil.
In addition to avoiding wet soil, you must also protect the concrete from rain during the pouring process. Check the weather forecast in the days before the concrete is to be poured. If the day that your concrete is scheduled to be poured is forecasted to be a wet one, delay the pouring of the concrete if at all possible. If delaying the concrete pouring is not possible, have tarps on hand to hang over the concrete and protect it as it sets. If rain does fall on your concrete, the only thing you can do is allow the water to air dry and hope that the rain and concrete don't mix. Talk with a place like R Pepin & Sons Inc for more tips to avoid these problems.
Avoid Freezing Temperatures
Freezing temperatures cause a variety of problems for setting concrete. Frozen ground has a way of settling when it thaws, causing the concrete on top to crack. Freezing temperatures also cause the concrete to set more slowly and contract.
Late-season construction projects run the risk of a cold weather snap occurring. The best way to avoid freezing temperatures is to schedule your concrete pouring early in the season, or delay the construction project until the spring. If freezing temperatures come early, your ready-mix concrete pouring contractor may be able to use equipment to thaw the ground. Any objects or tools that touch the concrete should be kept at temperatures above freezing, and may need to be heated manually. Speak with the company pouring your concrete to find out more.